Brazil is a country of huge biodiversity featuring a unique natural wealth identifiable in different biomes and ecosystems, which integrate in different weather, geological and geomorphologic aspects. These biomes and ecosystems must be preserved in order not only to guarantee the vast biological and genetic potential that allows for a vision of uncountable uses and benefits to mankind as a whole but also because of their importance in the planetary balance. Every educational and scientific action that stimulates their preservation is mission and obligation of the academic world of a university.
PUC-Rio’s campus is inserted in the middle of the Atlantic Forest, known today as one of the biodiversity richest Brazilian biomes and, on the other hand, one of the most threatened. Its preservation is pressing and all efforts of sustainable handling must be oriented towards its care, comprehension and enlargement.
PUC-Rio’s campus is located in the Gavea valley being part of the drainage basin of the Rainha River which crosses the campus. The surrounding slopes that integrate with the valley are covered by remainders of Atlantic Forest and relate with environmentally protected areas such as the Tijuca National Park and the Dois Irmãos Municipal Park. The University, with its tree covered campus, has a relationship with the landscape of these two vegetation structures.
The socioenvironmental responsibilities, sustained by actions that stimulate the preservation of the Atlantic Biome, extrapolate the walls of the university, encompassing extension activities with the communities that dwell in the Gavea valley, the municipality and State projects, and with the farther away poor communities. Aiming to preserve and expand the existing tree covering of the campus in a sustainable way, we suggest the following general directives:
- To consider the campus as an altered forest remainder, of social and environmental importance for the city of Rio de Janeiro.
- To promote the expansion of the green area of the campus, with the introduction of native species from the Atlantic Forest and from other Brazilian biomes.
- To ensure the functionality of the tree structure of the campus through the systematic return of the tree origin material currently discarded, through its conversion to the humus that results from the so called composting process.
- To ease the natural drainage of the campus through the use of vented ground coverings, therefore avoiding the surface flow of water caused by the asphalt cover.
- To protect the forested areas through fencing, avoiding the exposition and compacting of the campus ground.
- To establish principles of co-responsibility for the preservation of the forest remainders that conform the Gavea valley.
- To stimulate the connection among the forest remainders of the area, reinforcing the genetic exchange through the formation of a forest corridor in the Gavea valley.
- To develop research aiming to improve the knowledge on the biodiversity of PUC-Rio’s campus, related to the fauna, flora and the microorganisms.
- To develop research aiming to evaluate the impact of the climate changes on the species currently existing in the campus and their role in the carbon capture processes.
- To continue with the mapping of the tree specimens of the campus,
- To continue to plant along Rio Rainha’s riversides specimens that are adequate for this particular purpose
- To keep with the process of increasing the biodiversity of the campus through the introduction of native species and of species threatened by extinction.
- To assess the stage of geotechnical degradation of the forested slope that is limited by the Lagoa-Barra Expressway and the Cardeal Leme Building.
- To continue with the process of implementation of the Experimental Station in the campus, introducing into it medicinal and culturally relevant species, turning this space into a living laboratory of environmental education.
- To implement a set of meteorological stations in the campus
- To promote the tree covering of the car parking.
- To create mechanisms of preservation of the litter layer aiming to store the water from irrigation (creation of garden beds).
- To continue with the implementation of protective borders around the campus’ trees
- To implement a program of hill protection and contention by means of trees in the area limited by the Estrada Lagoa Barra (Lagoa Barra Expressway) and the
- Edificio Cardeal Leme (Cardeal Leme Building)
- To participate in the joint administration of the parks that compose the Gavea Valley.
- To implement a composting system in the campus.
- To develop scientific projects aiming to acquire greater knowledge on the fauna, flora and microorganisms that are in the campus
- Development of scientific projects aiming to assess the effect of climate changes upon the fauna and flora of the campus, as well as the study of the species relevant to the carbon capture.
- To enhance the natural drainage of the campus by the introduction of aerated floor coverings (cobblestones or similar), avoiding the surface flow of the water caused by the asphalt cover.
- To assess and map the tree specimens of the Gavea Valley
- To implement a network of meteorological stations in the Gavea Valley